(Slightly) Old Video Game Review: Resistance: Fall of Man

Another FPS about World War II…wait a minute…what is up with these aliens?  Oh, thank goodness…it wasn’t just ANY World War II FPS that plagued the gaming aisles.  Resistance: Fall of Man is a game that is set on an alternate timeline during the 1950s fighting off an alien race.  Set as a launch title for the PS3, Resistance arrived to North American shores on November 17, 2006.  The launch title to get for the Sony Playstation 3 and what a way to enter the new generation of consoles. Resistance showed a lot what the PS3 was capable of and was one good looking shooter when it first came out.  Insomniac Games, the makers of Spyro the Dragon series (on the PS1) and famed Ratchet and Clank series were the masterminds behind the game, and they came out firing all weapons.

Useless teammates.

FPS back then were full of World War II themed and nothing original was coming out, but Insomniac Games wanted to do something a little bit different.  Instead of working with another World War II game they decided to put it in an alternate timeline where the world is overtaken by a dangerous species.  A contagious virus started to spread within Russia in 1921, with reports of villages and cities being destroyed overnight and no survivors.  1949, the rest of the European world is overtaken by the virus.  The world founds out that the virus wasn’t just merely a virus, but a new alien species called the “Chimera”.  After all of Europe was taken, the Chimeran species went into hiding.  The British was the last of the European countries safe from the Chimerans until 2 years later, when the Chimeran army dug under the English Channel and destroyed most of Britain in a matter of months.  America wasn’t involved in any of this yet, but they be would soon.  America decides to send their army over to help Britain and in return, the British are going to give the Americans a secret weapon in return.  When the Americans arrive, you take over a soldier name Nathan Hale and thus the game starts here.

You ugly.

The story would have been any other World War II story, until you add aliens to the mix.  Aliens always make things more fun.  The story of the fall of man is always a crowd pleaser, as you find yourself in a losing war.  You fight for survival and destruction of these aliens, but on the way find some revelations about the Chimerans and their little secrets.  However great the story was, the presentation was not so well done.  The game presentation was a little plain and you can tell the developers rushed some of the smaller details in the game.  However, for a launch game, it was definitely head above the rest.

Ohhhh…pretty gun.

The graphics were amazing at the time; it was on par with many of the Xbox 360 games out already.  The levels looked great, which ranged from destroyed cities to the Chimeran factories.  Everything looked like it was from the 1950s, well..except for the aliens and their crazy tech.  The soldiers all looked great and were pretty lifelike.  The aliens were average on details, but with the ragdoll physics, were fun to shoot around.  Levels were simply designed, you couldn’t get lost and the new areas would “open” up as you kill and progress through the stages.  The levels were actually very linear in design, which made it simpler for the gamer to find where they were going.  However, the underground levels were a pain in the ass.  There was very little design to them and plus fighting some aliens in tight hallways either got you hurt badly or dead.  There was no real imagination in the underground stages.  There were also vehicle stages, but were very short. The vehicle combat wasn’t that great, but it did give gamers a little variety.

That Stalker looks just like Ratchet & Clank’s Stalker.

Thankfully the guns were a different story.  The guns here are the stars, and the minds at Insomniac Games know how to create some really interesting weapons.  The weapons ranged from typical favorites like the shotgun and the machine gun with a grenade launcher to the alienized weaponry of the Chimera.  Each weapon had a primary fire and alternative fire, which creates more ways of killing those damn aliens.  One example, is the Bullseye (the best weapon in my opinion); it was powerful and held a lot of bullets.  But the best part about this gun was the alternate fire, which shoots out a tracker and attaches itself to the enemy. Once attached, the bullets follow that enemy (even behind cover) and them easier to kill.  The guns had some very cool tricks up their sleeves.  The guns also look great and each have their own unique feel and look to it.  The bullet effects from each gun were amazingly detailed and were nice to watch, as you mowed down the Chimera.  Plus, you can carry more than two weapons, unlike other shooters nowadays.  So now, you don’t have to choose what you need to carry, just choose on how to kill some aliens.

The explosions looked great as well; either coming from your arsenal of grenades or just blowing something up.  They each had a crazy effect and were also pretty to look at.  There were some really interesting grenades ranging from a frag grenade, a hedgehog grenade (a grenade that shoots spikes 360 degrees), and an air fuel grenade (a grenade that attaches to any surface, then emits green smoke before it burns everything around it).  Going through the game the second time around gave you more guns to play with, but didn’t really help justify going through the campaign the second time around (well…for me that is).

Pew! Pew! Pew!

In game sounds were great.  The weapons each had their own unique effects as you switch weapons or shoot them.  The aliens had the typical grunts and squeals, but your teammates felt real as they fought with you (actually you hear them screaming from death more often). The vehicles each had their own effects and either sounded old school, like the jeep or tanks, or sounded futuristic, like the Stalkers and Goliaths.  The explosions and sounds of screaming Chimerans as they are shot or burned down were music to my ears.  Speaking of music, the music was pretty much non-existent as you concentrated more on killing than music listening.

Most annoying enemies.

The AI in this game were really random at times.  Sometimes the AI was smart, where the Chimerans would actually take cover and fire and/or try to flank you by going around.  When the Chimerans were smart, the game actually was challenging.  However, the AI act stupid or really cheap the other times, which hurt the gameplay.  There was never a time where the AI was ever in the middle, it was either smart or stupid.  The AI do need some work, but for a launch title it was pretty solid.

Fly like an eagle.

The gameplay itself is a simple cover and shoot FPS, but the other mechanics weren’t so well done.  The health bar for example, was useless.  You had four bars of health and each bar would regenerate if you didn’t completely lose the bar.  It would have worked nicely if you didn’t lose health so damn fast.  I would have rather had a single health bar that regenerates instead of constantly looking at how much health you had in each bar.  The controls weren’t so great either, I mean you can change the buttons around, but after playing Call of Duty, the controls took some time to get used to.  I also had a problem with the amount of bullets you were able to carry for each gun.  For example, you only could carry 24 bullets for the shotgun…that’s ridiculous!  I could carry hundreds of bullets for the other guns, but not for the shotgun… Even if I could hold more bullets for the other weapons, you run out of bullets fast, and I mean fast.  There weren’t even enough bullets to pick up from your dead enemies or just from the ammo boxes.  You had to become frugal with your bullets.

Another problem were your teammates.  In some levels, the game randomly gives you a set amount of friendlies or unlimited amount.  But that didn’t matter because they died so freaking fast.  Hell, 5 year olds would have survived better than the AI for your team.  Your team were just target practice for the Chimerans to help them kill you.  Another downside to this game is the really random difficulty.  I just played on medium and sometimes the game would be super duper easy and sometimes it would be super duper hard.  Having easy and hard parts and then saying it’s called medium is retarded.  You don’t average the difficulty level out like that (well…it seems like the developers did it this way), it should just be medium difficulty throughout most parts of the game.

The Bullseye, the best weapon in the game.

The game was fun overall, even with the frustrating moments on the random difficulty level and stupid AI.  It was great to play a shooter that wasn’t about World War II; I had enough history lessons about the 1940s.  With the co-op and multiplayer (which is useless now), the replay value was much higher.  Wish there were some issues fixed, but this being a launch game, it was really well done.

Rating: 8.4/10

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